Saturday, July 2, 2011

My Name is Honey - Redux

I knew when I was born that I was one of those dangerous females. I took no shit from anybody from the time I was 4 months old. I spent a lot of time on the streets and that changes you. Dad was a no-count Pit Bull from Oakland. He only stuck around long enough to get mom pregnant. Mom was a German Shepherd from the Oakland Hills and very nurturing. She did right by me and my brother. I think we were her first litter.

One day, we woke up and there was a man chasing mom down the street. He had a truck with him and grabbed her and stuck her in a cage-like place. My brother and I were left alone at that point. We never saw our mother again. We stuck together for a while. We found the Oakland restaurants that put out garbage and we looked through every evening to see what we could find. Chicken bones, pork, beef, even chicken feet all were on the menu if we went to Chinatown. It was great. We slept under the overpass when it was raining. There were a lot of people sleeping out there. Some of them were really nice and let us get close. It helped on cold nights.

This young guy in an SUV pulled up to the curb when he saw me. He held out something that smelled delicious and I went up close to see what it was. He grabbed me and put me in the back of his SUV. We drove for a while and I got completely confused. I was in an area I had never seen before. He took me through an alley and into a place that had a bunch of wired cages. He put a collar on me and shoved me into one of them. I was worried about my brother, but there was nothing I could do about that. There was water in my cage but no food. I was hungry and wondered where and when my next meal would show up. I found it out would be a couple of days before I would eat again.

There were a lot of other dogs out in this yard. Some looked torn up with scars and bloody faces. I realized to survive, I had to grow up and get hard fast. The first day someone brought a bowl of kibble to my cage, I snarled at the guy and gave him my hardest look. He backed away respectfully. I was learning a survival skill. Some fool left my cage unlocked and I ran off as fast as I could. I spent another couple of years as a homeless dog. I was picked up as a stray (or vagrant) and taken to a shelter. This was bad and good. I was used to cages but that was the bad part. But I did get regular food and water; that was the good part. People wandered through and looked at me and said, "Damn! That's a scary looking dog!" and walked on to the cages with the little fluffy guys. Who gives a shit? I was getting fed. It was okay.

A couple came and said, "We'll take that one" about me after a couple of months. The shelter people did an operation on me before I went home with these people so I couldn't have puppies. It's just as well. I didn't want puppies. We got into the car and we drove to a place called Hercules. I was put out in the backyard and I was fine. I stayed outside all of the time. I was "security" the man said. They fed me once a day and gave me water. Still, I felt like something was missing in my life. These people never even gave me a name. They called me "the dog". Still, it was okay.

After some time had passed, I noticed that I had waited a long time for some food. Nobody came. The people had moved. A guy in a uniform came to the back gate and whistled. I went over to see him. He put a leash on me and took me to a waiting truck taking me to the Oakland SPCA. Here we go with the cages again. But things were a little different this time. I had a warm place to sleep, plenty of food, and a person came almost every day to take me for a walk. I stayed at this place for almost 5 months.

One day a lady walked up to my "kennel". She looked at me and I looked at her and something happened. We just knew each other immediately. She called a man over and said, "Oh my God! This is the one we want! She's beautiful and I must have her!" The man said, "Uh, that's a pit bull" and the woman said "Don't be ridiculous; she's a German Shepherd". They got someone who worked there to take us into the "get acquainted" room. They both seemed just fine, but who really knows! I let them pet me and showed them that I had a few manners and that seemed just fine.

Two days later, they came back with a new collar and leash for me and told me I was going "home". They put me in the back seat of a car and we drove for a few minutes. When we got to their house, the lady said "This is your house, Honey". Okay, my name was "Honey" now. Not dog, not Fern (as I was called at the shelter" but Honey!) I liked it. We took a long walk and I marked every place I could so I could always find my way "home".

I was given a bath (not so great) and given flea medication, and taken to a "vet". The vet told these people that I had bad arthritis problems that was causing me to limp and move with some pain. My people said, "What can we do to fix it?". I was given medicine and taken to a specialist for something called an MRI. My people were told that there really wasn't much that could be done except to keep me "comfortable". The pills helped a lot. Also, the lady (who I now call Mom) hired an acupuncturist to stick needles in me to try and make me better. It was okay. The needles didn't hurt. (But I did look funny with about 100 needles sticking out of me.)

Six years have passed. I have changed in so many ways. I am well fed, I am well groomed, and I am well loved. I only eat organic food that Mom cooks for me. If I can't walk, they carry me. I live indoors and only go outside when I want to. I have a brother named Harry and I can bite and growl at him any time I want. Life is better than before. Mom worries about losing me. I worry more about losing her.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


You thought this was going to be about some whackadoodle shady business, didn't you?

Maybe something about porn, or misbehaving, or turtles in love. But it's not. The word shady here refers to just that. Shady places.

As summer has come upon us with a bang, I have to find shady places to hang out. I don't do well in hot weather. I like it cool. I used to broil myself in the sun, smeared with baby oil and a little iodine (to hurry the tan along) for hours. I'm fortunate that so far, my skin has not rebelled because of the sins of my youth. I think being Mexican helps. I used to think of the sun as a lover and give in to him on every possible occasion.

For the last 20 years, I've been more careful in the sun. I slather on the sunscreen and stay in the shade. In fact, I sometimes put on the abaya mi esposo brought me home from Saudi Arabia when I go in the yard. I keep it covered in other words. In the old days, people asked me if I was Egyptian because of how dark I was. Egyptian? Okay.

These days, my dogs and I prefer the shade. There is a 100 year old big Oak Tree in my front yard. It's interesting to note that it is always a good 10 degrees cooler under that tree than it is in the sun. That makes it the perfect place for a siesta or a good place to read. Our street is usually not very busy, so I am not concerned that someone will walk by and grab my earrings even if I fall asleep.

My husband Alex doesn't like being in the sun either. As a 100% Navajo Indian, he already has a permanent tan. In fact, years ago, my sister asked me if he was "that color" all over. I assured her that he was. Frankly, very white men just don't do it for me, usually. I love a little color on a man. (Or in some cases, a lot of color, but that's another post.)

The heat makes me drowsy, lazy and incompetent. I hate it. But I do like sitting in a shady place and knowing that because of my aversion to heat, there's nothing else I am expected to do. You have to relax in the heat. No silly jogging or walking. No crazy riding a bike.

The heat was made for quiet contemplation. And ice cold beer.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Christal Shanda Leer - Porn Queen

If I was a porn star, Christal Shanda Leer would be my name.

I think it has a touch of class and it's not all hoochie mama or anything. Actually, porn star names are sometimes pretty clever, but a lot of times, they are just too obvious.

I really don't see much porn these days. Gone are the days when Candy Barr starred in her first and only porn movie. I saw the film (which was made when Candy was only 16) after I was married and had my first child.

We were at a friend's house and they had a porn film they they showed from a projector. I remember the man in the film was wearing black socks through out the movie.

The movie was called "Smart Alec" and it was much more humorous than erotic. Still, I was very uncomfortable watching it in "mixed company".

Oh, and Candy Barr was not her real name. Her real name was Juanita Slusher and she was from Edna, Texas. I think I like the name Juanita Slusher just as well as Candy Barr. She was born in 1935 so the movie was made about 1951. I think Candy Barr was considered one of the first porn queens. I saw the movie in 1970 or so.

The next porn film I saw was at a theater in San Francisco. The movie was "Behind the Green Door" and I think the year was 1972. Marilyn Chambers was the star and she was formerly the "Ivory Soap Girl". Pretty woman. Again, it wasn't a great film, and it wasn't as funny as "Smart Alec" either.

The problem with porn to me is that there isn't really any plot. Plus, there's usually not a lot of dialog. I end up wishing the people would stop fooling around and have a conversation.

I'm glad that porn is available at the video store and on the internet. Even though I haven't seen a porn film in ages, I am pretty sure it's much better not to go to the theater to see it. There are always a lot more men at the theater than women. Plus, who can eat popcorn and watch porn? Not me.

I think I'd be good at making up porn star names. Plus I have some good titles in mind too. "Teenage Enema Nurses In Bondage" is one I thought of. That's good, isn't it?

And you have too admit, Christal Shanda Leer is sort of brilliant.